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< Back to question Should we abandon online privacy? Show more Show less

An infringement on our privacy is ubiquitous to the modern internet era. The media paints the image that all of our online activities, from mindless internet browsing to banking information, is being monitored by hackers, corporations and even governments. However, there may still be ways, and things society can do, to maintain anonymity. Is online privacy a lost cause which should be abandoned altogether? Or can we still retain it?

Yes, we should abandon online privacy. Show more Show less

Privacy is an outdated concept, that doesn't work in our connected world. We should embrace the benefits of full transparency.
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People are oblivious towards online privacy

Online users are not aware about the dangers of not having privacy online. If the public are completely oblivious, then online privacy is a lost cause which might as well be abandoned.
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The Argument

Any idea of a digital world where society can still have the right to privacy might as well be abandoned. Many internet users simply do not have any interest in protecting their privacy and will continue to use platforms regardless of the website’s stance on data privacy. With these current attitudes, online privacy is certainly a lost cause. Very few people read privacy policies before joining a platform like Facebook or Google (despite both receiving a great degree of media criticism for data breaches). The privacy policies constitute thousands of words of legalese, a construction which requires a law degree to parse and begin to understand. A report by Pew research determined that half of Americans do not recognise that privacy policies are a binding contract between websites and their users. The report also polled 4,727 US adults with a straightforward, 10 question test. It checked for basic knowledge about phishing, online advertising and cookies. Only 20% of people answered 7 out of 10 questions correctly, and only 2% of people got all 10 questions right. The least understood question, however, was about protecting online privacy from hackers; 55% of people could not identify an example of two-factor authentication.[1] Therefore, with online user’s oblivious attitudes towards internet privacy, society should accept the fact that protection of our personal data should be abandoned, if people are not willing to change their attitudes, it is a lost cause.

Counter arguments

There is considerable evidence to suggest that internet users are very concerned about online privacy, indicating that it should not be abandoned. The same Pew research report stated that the majority of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about how much data is being collected about them by both companies (79%) and the government (64%). Additionally, 7 in 10 Americans say that they feel their personal information is less secure than 5 years ago.[1] Therefore, the public do care about maintaining privacy in the modern digital age. It appears to be the case that when online users are aware of the implications of not having privacy online, they are very concerned, compared to users who are oblivious towards it. Society has a responsibility to inform people about online security concerns to ensure that online privacy is not abandoned.

Premises

[P1] Online users are completely oblivious to the dangers of not having privacy online. [P2] Therefore, online privacy might as well be abandoned if online users are not invested enough to do anything about it.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There is evidence to suggest that online user's are very concerned about privacy breaches online. [Rejecting P1] Those who are aware about the dangers of not being able to have privacy online are more concerned than people who are oblivious to the dangers. Society should be educating those who are not aware. [Rejecting P2] Therefore, online privacy should not be abandoned.

References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2019/11/15/americans-and-privacy-concerned-confused-and-feeling-lack-of-control-over-their-personal-information/

This page was last edited on Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 at 20:49 UTC

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